The Friday Dose #134: Your Mind Your Body

1043-fd-relax-and-succeed-90-of-your-bodyYou could do the experiment without risk anyway, but most of you have waited until science caught up before you would even consider that maybe your mind could impact your body. You are starting to accept that our attitude about healing could actually impact our physical healing, etc. How you think you feel has a lot to do with how you actually feel. This is a large part of a shaman’s power.

I’ve put them in previous Friday Dose’s: people whose behaviour defies science. Some stop themselves from freezing, others generate large amounts of heat, some demonstrate bizarre strength or unusual healing. Physical feats are done regularly today that were believed impossible only a few years ago. There’s a hospital in France that doesn’t use anaesthetic for operations; it’s all hypnosis; it’s all in the mind.

Placebos are likewise. There’s no company pouring money into research and who knows, maybe even some money preventing it. Even our health is a threat to someone’s market if they make money off us being sick. But that doesn’t mean placebos don’t point to a general impact your mind can make on your body. You’re a giant system. Start living like that’s what you are and you will begin discovering strengths within yourself that begin in your imagination.

Dr. Michael Tétreault Discusses The Placebo Effect

You’re stronger than you currently think. It’s time you accepted the idea that you too can be a peaceful, powerful person. Tune your mind. It’s yours and it’s remarkable.

Have a great weekend everyone.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and non-profit organisations locally and around the world.

Feeling Physically Fortunate

Look around you. Meditate on the possibilities. Maybe it’s someone on crutches or in a wheelchair. Maybe it’s someone even bigger than you who’s having trouble getting comfortable in their chair. Maybe it’s something hard to see like Crohn’s Disease or or cancer. A large number of the people you walk past and talk to each day are suffering much more than you.

854 Relax and Succeed - Not every disabilityA lot of this suffering you can’t see but, if you’re watching for it, there’s plenty of instances where you can. When we see these things, rather than mock others or feeling superior, why not recognize our own good fortune? The good feelings we would get from that would create more compassion in us than if we ignored our own mental state and went straight to helping someone strictly out of obligation.

Some you can see some you can’t. For whatever flaws you feel it has, your body been the vessel you’ve moved through your entire life inside. It has served you well. You could be a paraplegic–or even a quadriplegic. I know some very happy and productive people without legs. If they can be grateful surely you can.

Consider your favourite physical quality. On a good day you’ll give yourself credit for great hair or a nice ass, cute feet, cute ears, eyes that go on forever… choose the one thing you’ll give yourself compliments on fairly regularly. After you notice how lucky you are to not be down, consider your assets and feel lucky to be up.

854 Relax and Succeed - Appreciate people

I know it sounds incredible but I swear it’s true. Your suffering does not come from the parts of you that you hate, it comes from you hating some parts of you. Likewise, feeling good is when we choose better quality thoughts. So go ahead. Acknowledge your weaknesses. Accept them and then leave them. Why carry them around? That’s neither wise nor productive. Let. Them. Go.

Shift your thinking to what you genuinely admire about yourself and a very huge change will–choice by choice–take place over time. You’ll look back and be amazed at how much better you look and feel and yet all you did was shift from attacking yourself to patting yourself on the back. But to do that you must be kind to you. No one can give you that kindness but you. Do so.

Today’s easy. Notice others and be grateful that you don’t have as much wrong with you as even they have. And if you are going to think about yourself, let it be to think positive thoughts about what you like about you. It’s not egotistical to like yourself. It’s insecure not to like yourself. So don’t be insecure, like yourself. The choice has always been yours.

Stay on top of it and you should be able to weave yourself a pretty nice day. I wish you so much good fortune that you bubble over with it and need to share. 🙂

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Physical Realities

853 Relax and Succeed - Stay beautifulYou’ll see overweight men keeping their suit jackets on to hide their bellies if they’re out for lunch with an attractive co-worker. You’ll see large-breasted women constantly re-pulling their cardigans over their breasts in a pointless attempt to conceal them. If a girl thinks her bum is too big she’ll try to hide it with long tops and coats. Short men avoid standing near tall ones if they’re trying to impress someone.

You think that what people see when they look at you is either the bad quality you’re focusing on as a part of this week’s meditation, or you’ll assume they’re focused on some particularly negative aspect about that particular day–like a stain on your shirt or spot you missed shaving or some hair that won’t go where it belongs. But people are rarely noticing those things. That’s because they’re too busy doing exactly what you’re doing.

853 Relax and Succeed - My body does everythingJust as you’re pulling your sweater down over your butt or standing behind a piece of furniture that conceals your gut, everyone around you is busy doing the same thing. The desire to be accepted by the group is a very human thing, but language and advertising have whipped an otherwise healthy human drive into a crazy over-drive that has 99.9% of people worried most of the time about some aspect of their physical selves.

There is no need to invest time in these thoughts and strategies. In fact authenticity and openness have never looked more attractive in a world driven by egocentric fears about not being enough. In today’s world a calm demeanor, sense of humour and open mind are far more valuable than any combination of body parts.

The more “attractive” people are the more they worry about what you think. No one is imprisoned more by ego than someone who dresses and acts in ways to get strangers and acquaintances to approve of how they look.

853 Relax and Succeed - Be kind to yourselfYou’re trying not to criticize your least-loved body part as a part of the weekly meditation we started yesterday. Make it easy today by focusing your attention outward instead. As you walk past each person try to figure out what they think their worst quality is and see if they work to hide it. If you don’t see them hiding it then that’s not what they think is their thing. The younger the person the more they’ll be inclined try to conform, so don’t watch octogenarians looking for a lot of signs of ego.

Get out of your thoughts and self-discussions comparing you to your ideals. Use your consciousness to take the world in rather than comment on what’s already known. Watch others. See their fear. See how misplaced it is and realize the same is true for you.

Give others compliments. Accept the ones given to you. And stop criticizing yourself. It’s never accomplished anything and it never will. It’s time to surrender. What’s waiting is a quiet world rarely invaded by judgment. It’s a beautiful state of mind to live in. I hope you’ll join me.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

A Meditation For Your Body

852 Relax and Succeed - And I said to my bodyThank you to many of you for letting me know that your morning gratitude meditation is leading to you notice more things to be sincerely grateful for during your day. We’re not looking to trick ourselves, we just want to maintain an active understanding that our day is made up of what we occupy our mind with with. That’s why the meditation for week two was designed to draw attention to how much of our time our mind occupies with judging ourselves and others. This week we’re going to focus that even more to help you hone your meditating ability.

You’ll often think your mind can’t do something that it actually does all the time–it’s rare for us to consciously look at most of our daily moments. People will say they can’t keep a empty mind for even a second and then I’ll tell them to actively wait for their next thought and boom: empty mind, like a crane waiting to strike a fish.

852 Relax and Succeed - Is fat really the worst thingThis week you’re going to choose one aspect of yourself physically that you don’t like and that you regularly hide and/or criticize. Your waist, your hair, your eyebrows, your hands, your height, your wrinkles, your butt–it does not matter what it is as long as you criticize it a lot and it’s something physical. By being so focused you’ll have more success at noticing the thoughts you have about it.

Noticing them is one thing, stopping them is another. No one stops thinking/creating. It is not a matter of stopping our thinking it is a matter of shifting the content of our consciousness. We want to shift to open appreciation but that can be difficult at first so it is perfectly fine to stop at any better feeling along the way. So if you’re criticizing your physical self then you need to have some go-to appreciative thoughts about who and what you are. The act of replacing the critical thoughts with appreciative ones is a critical act of mental health.

859 Relax and Succeed - IntegrityDo not add to your negative thinking by criticizing yourself if you catch yourself thinking a historically negative thought. Recognize it as a success that the thought is now visible. It can now be hunted. You are aware of its existence. It needs you to survive. If you don’t bring it to life within your consciousness you don’t even have a need to divert your thoughts.

Remember, your suffering requires your participation. If you can’t quit beating yourself up entirely, at least leave yourself alone about this one thing for one week of your life. Seriously. You’ve easily earned it.

Be kinder to yourself and you will naturally become kinder to others which just as naturally leads to more positivity being shared with you. We can ride the thought spiral up or we can ride it down. It’s always up to us. Join me on the way up.

Ready? Figure out what it is, write it down and then for one solid week leave yourself alone. Start now.

Big hugs. You’ll do fine.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is an Edmonton-based writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Point of View

Your ego thinks it’s an individual. Your true self knows you are a point of view. Your ego sees itself as separate from everything. Raised in the shadow of Aristotle, you see everything as subject and object. So much so that even though you can intellectually understand that other people have the same emotions you do, you still persist in thinking that your experiences are unique failings of yours or the world around an individual you, and that it is impossible for anyone else to understand you or your situation.

797 Relax and Succeed - You don't have a soulYour spirit however takes everything far less personally. Why would a point of view care one way or the other? You are fundamentally simply a way of seeing things. Descartes’ I think therefore I am axiom in action. But way before Descartes, Aristotle had already accidentally screwed up your chances of being peaceful when he unwittingly helped create your ego when he separated you from the rest of the world with that whole subject and object concept. (The “water” we swim in.) Once you have separation then value judgments inevitably ensue. This of course leads to most of the bad things that humans do to each other and the rest of the planet.

But it’s not like the place that exists before those definitions and value judgments vanished. It’s still there. The Kingdom of Heaven is nigh, so to speak. Eckhart Tolle wrote a book about living there called The Power of Now. It’s entirely attainable. You’ve already been there. Every infant lives there. And anyone can go back at any moment, and most people go back and forth with whatever regularity matches their awareness. Conscious people are mostly now-ish and egos are focused on futures or on histories.

Yes, you have this physical body. But not much of it is even yours. Cell wise you’re outnumbered by the creatures that live on and in you by an incredible 10 to 1. That’s 10 of them to 1 of you. 60% of your bodyweight is the creatures that allow you do everything from digest your food to clean your eyes when you sleep.

797 Relax and Succeed - Looking for consciousness in the brainSo “you” (unbeknownst to you) was never as much you as you thought. You’re more like the driver of a planet of cooperating creatures. Let too many of them die and your whole spaceship goes. Just ask someone with Crohn’s Disease if the creatures that comprise your gut are important to your healthy survival.They know what it’s like to suffer that imbalance. This is why you’re supposed to be careful with antibiotics. They don’t just kill the bug, they kill part of you too. It’s like micro-chemo.

Okay, so you’re mostly a bag filled with cooperating cells and you can think. You can take I think therefore I am more than one way. For instance, it can mean: Because I am able to pose this question I know that I am some sort of entity which can do this. Or it can mean: I am the way I think I am. In the latter case, that is another way of saying God created man his own image. God makes man free. So man (and obviously women) are free to create any image of themselves to portray. Even insecure or angry or unhappy ones.

Your thinking emerges from the living of your life. Your experiences, culture, society, fellow citizens, friends, relatives and family will all shape your beliefs. Grow up in a family of photographers and you’ll all cherish your brand new state-of-the-art cameras. And yet you might die of thirst in the tropics. Meanwhile a native who lives in the tropics might easily and happily destroy the cameras by smashing them repeatedly into coconut shell to get the liquid out. So was it a camera or was it a rock? It was both because after-now ego realities are always separate.

797 Relax and Succeed - You are the books you readThe value of anything is context dependent and value dependent and you construct both with your thinking. An example would be if I walked you to the Canada US border and then I blindfolded you, walked you in circles and then took the blindfold off–without any of the markings you had been taught, you would have no idea which country you would be in because a border and a country are ideas, not things. You can’t feel Canada or the US. You can only feel your thoughts about them.

So you can easily see how two people can have a war over seeing one place under two different names. When people were Yugoslavians they got along. Then a few people suggested that now they had different names (like you can’t have more than one) and suddenly average citizens were killing people they had been friends with. What changed from seeing someone as a friend to someone worthy of immediate death at your hand? Perspective. Point of view. Who you thought you were. But the separateness is always in the thoughts and not in the people.

Respect all the creatures that make up you. And respect all the other creatures that make up the rest of the world and your society. No one can be wrong when all there is in the end is perspective, because perspective can always change. People very often end up believing very different things at death than they did when they were young.

Spend the rest of the day trying to catch yourself enacting your point of view. It’s a very healthy exercise and it will keep you away from ego. But don’t get upset if you do find yourself in ego. Just recognizing that your separation is your creation is all you have to do. The rest is your nature.

Have an absolutely wonderful day.

peace. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.

Healthy Body Healthy Mind

In previous blogs I’ve discussed how the unusual thinking that resulted from my accident caused me to be confused by people’s fear of death and their distaste for being wrong. I also find people approach their physical health in a rather strange way.

789 Relax and Succeed - I workout because I love my bodyWhy is exercise seen as work? Or an obligation? Or that it’s done to stave off aging or to prevent a loss of beauty? Why can’t it be an act of love?

Imagine you have two brains in a drawer that goes through the middle of your head. If you pull it to the one side you’re using one brain, pull it to the other side and you’re using the other brain. It’s called changing your mind. Absolutely anyone can do it at any time.

Now imagine that these two brains are filled with stories. One brain has wiring to take the world and process it as either painful, wounded, debilitating, or sad, and it can lead to feelings of isolation and a loss of enthusiasm for life in general.

The other brain is wired to see everything as a plus. So whatever is input gets processed in a grateful, strong, respectful and happy way. And you choose which drawer to use for every single thought you think.

789 Relax and Succeed - I feel energized and happySo do you want to see your food and your daily exercise as a diet and a workout? Is a restricting word and almost violent one the best way to describe something you do every day? What if you ate and were active as a part of loving yourself? Of loving your body?

What does a quadriplegic miss? What can’t they do in their chairs? These are things you currently take for granted. They see the basic movement of a human body as a gift–as something to be enjoyed. Don’t go to the gym because you hate your body, go because you love it. Treat it like Yoga. Get your mind fully immersed in the movement rather than the stillness.

And why do people find it easy to stick to healthy diets after years of junk food? Because very shortly after changing their diets they’ll notice all kinds of health benefits from how they sleep to how they use a bathroom. Their vision and hearing appears sharper. They feel stronger and they have more balance. And they crave things like carrots and spinach and yes maybe some meat too if in their own experience they reacted positively to it. Don’t let your food be a source of guilt. Honour your body and honour the food. You’re both worthy.

789 Relax and Succeed - You are what you eatDon’t turn your health regime into a cruel dictatorship. Don’t look at food as an enemy, but rather as a lover. Don’t look at exercise as working anything out, it’s instead an exploration of your own physical being. If you were an alien given a space ship you’d want to take it out for a spin and have fun with it. Same for your consciousness inside your body. Take it for a spin. Have some fun with it.

Love yourself like you love no other. And make eating, activity and sleep an honoured part of your day. These are not the things you squeeze in around work. These are fundamental human experiences and for you to be healthy they must be too. Have a wonderful day.

peas. s

Scott McPherson is a writer, public speaker, and mindfulness facilitator who works with individuals, companies and nonprofit organizations around the world.